Interwar Period

Unit 7: c. 1900-Present

Main Ideas:

  • As a result of the Great Depression, governments began to take a more active role in the economy

  • In the Soviet Union (communist Russia), the government controlled economic development with Five Year Plans, which was often negative for the population

  • Imperial states (Europe, US, Japan) largely held onto their colonies and even gained more territories via conquest or treaties

  • Imperial states (Europe, US, Japan) faced more anti-imperial resistance in their colonies than before

The Economy

After the Great Depression, Governments Played a more Active Role in the Economy 

Key Ideas:

  • The Great Depression was a global event triggered by a stock market crash in the US

    • Due to the Treaty of Versailles, the Western World had a weird credit structure: US loaned money to Germany to pay reparations to allies, which in turn owed interest for their previous loans to the US

    • A stock market crash in the US in 1929 triggered a global economic recession that failed to recover largely due to this credit structure and other unresolved economic tensions from WW1

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  • To recover from the Great Depression, governments began playing a more active role in the economy

    • The US had a governmental program called the New Deal, which helped restart and recover the economy with heavy government assistance

    • Many European nations (especially Scandinavian nations) had similar programs where governments intervened in the economy to recover it

    • Fascist nations (like Italy & Nazi Germany) had a corporatist economy, where the economy was managed collectively by the state and individual enterprises

    • In 1938, Mexican president Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the Mexican oil industry (PEMEX), representing governmental intervention in the economy

Interwar Imperialism

After WW1, Imperial States Held on to their Colonies & Actually Got Some More Colonies 

Key Ideas:

  • Imperial states (Europe, US, Japan) largely held onto their colonies and even gained more territories via conquest or treaties

    • The Treaty of Versailles gave all German colonies to Britain & France

    • Japan gained control of Manchuria in 1931, calling it the Manchukuo puppet state

    • Japan conquered lots of land in East Asia, calling it the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

    • Nazi Germany conquered the Rhineland & Austria

    • The Munich Agreement (1938) allowed Germany to conquer Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia

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  • As a result of poor treatment of colonists by Imperial powers, imperial states  faced more anti-imperial resistance in their colonies than before

    • The Indian National Congress (est. 1885) started to oppose British rule after the poor treatment of the Indian people by the British in WW1

    • West Africa had many anti-France rebellions